JOURNAL ARTICLE

Attempted establishment of proficiency levels for laparoscopic performance on a national scale using simulation: the results from the 2004 SAGES Minimally Invasive Surgical Trainer-Virtual Reality (MIST-VR) learning center study

K R Van Sickle, E M Ritter, D A McClusky, A Lederman, M Baghai, A G Gallagher, C D Smith
Surgical Endoscopy 2007, 21 (1): 5-10
17111280

BACKGROUND: The Minimally Invasive Surgical Trainer-Virtual Reality (MIST-VR) has been well validated as a training device for laparoscopic skills. It has been demonstrated that training to a level of proficiency on the simulator significantly improves operating room performance of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The purpose of this project was to obtain a national standard of proficiency using the MIST-VR based on the performance of experienced laparoscopic surgeons.

METHODS: Surgeons attending the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) 2004 Annual Scientific Meeting who had performed more than 100 laparoscopic procedures volunteered to participate. All the subjects completed a demographic questionnaire assessing laparoscopic and MIST-VR experience in the learning center of the SAGES 2004 meeting. Each subject performed two consecutive trials of the MIST-VR Core Skills 1 program at the medium setting. Each trial involved six basic tasks of increasing difficulty: acquire place (AP), transfer place (TP), traversal (TV), withdrawal insert (WI), diathermy task (DT), and manipulate diathermy (MD). Trial 1 was considered a "warm-up," and trial 2 functioned as the test trial proper. Subject performance was scored for time, errors, and economy of instrument movement for each task, and a cumulative total score was calculated.

RESULTS: Trial 2 data are expressed as mean time in seconds in Table 2.

CONCLUSION: Proficiency levels for laparoscopic skills have now been established on a national scale by experienced laparoscopic surgeons using the MIST-VR simulator. Residency programs, training centers, and practicing surgeons can now use these data as guidelines for performance criterion during MIST-VR skills training.

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